Ten-year-old Gael didn’t have much hope for his future. He lives in a rural area in the Cortez region of Honduras where the people work mainly in agriculture — producing fruit, growing vegetables, harvesting coffee, tending to cattle or performing masonry jobs. Those who don’t work the land either don’t work or only earn money from temporary jobs yielding low wages.
The community suffers from social problems such as alcoholism, drug abuse, single-parent homes, malnutrition and illiteracy. It has for decades.
Gael lives with his elderly grandmother. She takes care of him and his two siblings, but she is suffering from poor health and hasn’t been able to get medical care. There is no doctor in their community, though there is a health center that is run sporadically by a nursing staff.
There’s a school in Gael’s community, and most children attend at least through primary school, but parents rarely encourage their children to dream big or study to achieve a goal. They’re convinced their children will have no opportunities, so what’s the point?
That’s changing now because of the new Compassion center.
Gael’s local church opened a Compassion center last year, and in very short order more than 250 children from the community were welcomed into the program.